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Everything You Need to Know About Junction Boxes and Electrical Safety

As trusted electricians in the area, we receive hundreds of inquiries about all things electric. Some of the most common questions we get tend to be about junction boxes, everything ranging from what are they, do I have them, do I need them - and then of course, how do I get them? Here, we’ll take a closer look and dive into these queries, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Junction Boxes and Electrical Safety.


What is a Junction Box?

A junction box is simply a small enclosure for electrical connections. It protects these electrical connections from the environment around them and accidental contact. The box itself isn't anything specific. They are typically made of metal or plastic and are attached to a beam or possibly the drywall. The front of the box is closed with a plate, and inside are wires spliced together. The protective little junction box promotes electrical safety as it prevents those wires from touching each other, or from anyone who comes in contact with the box.

Do I Have Junction Boxes in My Home?

If your home was built to code, you have junction boxes, and probably quite a few. Junction boxes are required by law. Junction boxes can be put in when a building is built or get added with electrical changes, upgrades, and improvements. 

How Many Junction Boxes Should I Have? 

The number of junction boxes a home should have is not something that’s set in stone. In fact, it varies greatly according to how the electrical network is laid out and how many changes and additions have been made to the home since the time it was built. The most important thing is that no box is overloaded, and the connections within are properly finished with caps. It's important to know that even when wire caps and electrical tape are used to hold the wires, a junction box is still required. Loose connections inside a wall can cause unexpected (and unwanted!) problems. 

Whenever a new switch or outlet is added to a circuit, there may be a new circuit device in an electrical box. This electrical box functions as a junction box. However, a junction box is NOT an electrical box. There must be a junction box protecting those connections if there is no electrical box. If changes are made often, the number of junction boxes increases. As with many things, more is not necessarily better when it comes to junction boxes. 

Why Should I Have an Electrician Install My Junction Boxes? 

As with all electrical work, you should always call a licensed electrician to ensure things are done properly, according to code, and with safety ensured. 

When a professional electrician plans and expands a home's electrical network, they carefully plan the wiring so that as many things as possible are wired into the main branches in the circuit box. By skillfully routing the wiring, they can eliminate many connections and extra junction boxes, thereby ensuring the most efficient system, and consequently, your electrical safety.

We understand that your home is a huge investment, and more importantly that your family’s safety is always a top priority. Taking the step of trusting your electrical work to a professional means keeping everyone and everything safe. Let Wilcox Electric take care of all your Washington, D.C., area electrical needs. You can depend on us to get the job done right so you can rest easy.